NABJ & PABJ Announce Tombstone Dedication for Founder Reginald Bryant
Friday, April 5, 2013
Posted by: Tiane Johnson
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 5, 2013) –The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and
Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) have announced a tombstone
dedication at the gravesite of Reginald A. Bryant on Saturday, April
27, at Eden Cemetery, 1434 Springfield Rd. in Collingdale, Pa. The
dedication ceremony begins at 2 p.m. and the public is welcome.
Bryant was a founder of NABJ and
PABJ. He was a veteran broadcaster and media consultant as well as a writer,
filmmaker and artist.
"Reggie Bryant was a visionary,” said
NABJ President Greg Lee. "He was one of 44 people who had the courage and
foresight to form the National Association of Black Journalists. He left us too
soon, but his legacy is everlasting. The least NABJ can do is to
contribute to his legacy with this special tombstone."
Reggie's intellect was often
confrontational, and at the same time, to many, who were not threatened by it,
was a challenge and an inspiration, according to NABJ and PABJ Founder Acel
Moore. "His greatest significance is that he was an innovative educator,” he
said. "I miss him.”
Bryant’s broadcast practice expanded
into a groundbreaking television interview program, "Black Perspectives on the
News,” a news program on WHYY in Philadelphia that featured prominent
newsmakers from 1973 to 1978. The program was seen on 170 stations across the
In spring 2011, PABJ members
organized a community service project at Eden Cemetery. The chapter arranged
for area photographers to donate their time to photograph the historic Eden
tombstones and resting place of famous African Americans, such as Octavius Cato
and Marian Anderson.
One volunteer stumbled across the
unmarked grave of Bryant. That volunteer was Bobbi Booker, Reggie’s former
The NABJ Convention came to
Philadelphia later that year and former PABJ president Sarah Glover asked NABJ
to join PABJ in raising money to place a tombstone at Reggie’s resting place.
NABJ and PABJ members along with Reggie's station, WURD 900AM, helped with the
fundraising effort. With the family's blessing, NABJ and PABJ coordinated
the purchase, design and installation of the tombstone.
Reggie was an avid reader and
believed strongly in the power of education.
The top of the stone is in the shape
of a book and has an inscription with one of Reggie's famous
sayings: "It's not what you know that gets you in trouble, it's what you
know that's just not so.”
"Reggie Bryant’s legacy as a
founder of PABJ and NABJ will be carried on for generations,” said
PABJ President Johann Calhoun. "I remember Reggie from his broadcast days at
WURD 900AM, where he spoke truth to power. He embodied the meaning of civic
journalism – not being afraid to speak out against the powers that ran
Philadelphia and this nation for the little man struggling in the
During his long career, Bryant
interviewed five U.S. presidents, 52 Pulitzer Prize winning authors and had
been commended by hundreds of organizations for his community service.
Bryant’s mentee, colleague and
friend I. Robin "Bobbi" Booker
said, "Reggie Bryant was a multimedia master, who, via the medium of radio,
conducted daily lessons on ‘The Art of Pro-and-Conversation.’ I miss him
Other journalists shared similar
"It is fitting NABJ and PABJ
announce Reggie's tombstone dedication today on the third anniversary of his
death,” said PABJ Immediate Past President Sarah Glover. "He's
sorely missed on Philadelphia's airwaves. Reggie stood for justice and spoke
his mind. His spirit lives on and it’s humbling to celebrate his legacy
Bryant was a legend in journalism and
talk radio, according to WURD President and General Manager Sara Lomax-Reese.
"He was the consummate wordsmith who
spent years dazzling us with his wise, well researched interviews,” she said.
"As we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, we at WURD are guided by his
spirit of substantive, passionate, informed dialogue. We are grateful for the
path he has paved for us.”
NABJ will forever be indebted to
Reggie’s commitment as one of the 44 founders of the leading organization for
journalists of color. Our honoring an "NABJ Founder" is but a fitting
display of our long-term commitment to upholding the founding principles of our
association, and honoring the contributions of the pioneering journalists who
created our esteemed organization.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in
Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in
the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other
support to its members worldwide. For more information, please visit www.nabj.org.